I attended the Trump rally in Raleigh on Tuesday, and it was standing room only. Overall impression? Hitleresque. Yep, I said it. Hey, if “The Donald” can speak his mind, so can I.
Remember, Adolf Hitler was democratically elected in 1933, and many “mainstream” Germans thought he was a joke.
Before Trump’s Raleigh event even started, they were discussing what to do with protesters. Directly after an announcement that security would remove protesters, the guy two seats down from me yelled, “And then beat the (expletive) out of them!” Can you say Sturmabteilung? That’s the SA, Hitler’s “Brown Shirts” and first organized mob, one whose motto was, “All opposition must be stamped into the ground.” Apparently, one needn’t be gay or of color, just not toeing the party line.
Before I went to the rally, I had a gay individual say, “My family wouldn’t be safe there.” In my mind, I dismissed it a little, but having been there, I can clearly see the point. I thought, “Thank God I didn’t drive the Subaru!”
Trump repeatedly mentioned radical Islam – hey, I guess it’s just our generation’s version of the “Jewish menace.” As the invocation specifically keyed on Jesus, it tacitly implied that you are unworthy (perhaps unwelcome) if you are not a believer. God and Christianity were mentioned a few times further in support of an individual who has been married three times, but who am I to judge?
The content Trump presented was completely devoid of anything – nothing regarding any policies, domestic or foreign. Nothing.
The guy next to me kept screaming, “Justice for Benghazi!” I wanted to say, “It’s been investigated NINE times!” But then I remembered my dentist drives a nice enough boat, so I kept my mouth shut.
“Build that wall! “Radical Islam!” “Crooked Hillary!” But Trump offered absolutely nothing of substance, just attacks and distraction.
One moment did force me to crack a smile. Trump had said he supports North Carolina’s House Bill 2 targeting the LBGTQ community, but then his campaign played some Elton John music. It was truly surreal.
Someone asked me, “Why are you there if you don’t support him?” I wanted to see the process in person, and it is viscerally frightening.
So apparently our presidential choice now is a potentially existential threat to our way of life, represented by a frightening, narcissistic megalomaniac who plays to the angry mob with really nothing to say, or an ethically challenged, establishment, career politician who will likely not change the system much.
Two terrible choices, but I know whom I’m not voting for. And I weep for this great country.
Kevin Nesbitt, who describes himself as a conservative Democrat, is a salesman who lives in Apex.